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Beijing’s Universal Studios to use facial recognition

Universal Studios in Beijing has announced it will install facial recognition technology to allow for ticketless entry to the under-construction amusement park.

The technology is part of a host of services owned by Chinese internet giant Alibaba that will be integrated into the park, the companies announced at a press event in Beijing on Thursday.

The biometric technology is linked to Alibaba’s Alipay electronic payment platform that will also allow visitors to open storage lockers, pay for meals and join express queues for rides. The Alipay app is widely used in China alongside rival WeChat Pay as an alternative to cash.

“There is no more seamless way to enjoy what we’re building than using the Alibaba technology,” said Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast, which owns Universal.

However, those who don’t wish to have their faces scanned will still be able to enter the park and pay for food and merchandise via other means, Universal staff told AFP.

Universal’s Beijing park, which will feature characters like Harry Potter and Kung Fu Panda, was first announced in 2014. Construction is under way in the Chinese capital’s Tongzhou suburban district and the park is expected to open its gates in 2021.

Image: Comcast